The LuLac Edition #1917, January 26th, 2012
Attorney Matt Cartwright left making a point on the set of WYOU TV's Interactive News. Your blog editor is in the center, Eric Sheiner is on the right.
Prospective candidate for the State House, Ransom Young.
Hiram Fong for President button.
The Apollo 1 Astronauts, Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee.
Como Phobia logo.
Our 1967 logo.
Pa. State Supreme Court: Standing L-R: Justice McCaffery, Justice Baer, Justice Todd, Justice Orie Melvin . Seated L-R: Justice Saylor, Chief Justice Castille, Justice Eakin.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the new redistricting plan that was put into motion earlier this year by the geniuses in the State Legislature. By a vote of 4 to 3 the Court essentially invalidated the redistricting plan and put everyone back on Square One. The two-page order says current district lines remain in force until the commission comes up with a new plan that passes legal tests. Justices Thomas Saylor justices J. Michael Eakin and Joan Orie Melvin, said they were not persuaded the plan was contrary to law "as reflected in the existing precedent." The majority votes came from Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, Justices Max Baer, Debra McCloskey Todd, and Seamus P. McCaffery. This decision has many ramifications for LuLac land. In Lackawanna County Ken smith’s district reverts back to the way it was impacting on a possible challenge there. In Luzerne County, GOPers Rick Arnold and Maiiloux are effected too. Mailloux lives in the 121st in the new plan, does not in the old plan. Arnold’s campaign against incumbent Gerry Mullery gets a little more challenging with the old rules in play. And Tarah Toohill’s challenger, Ransom Young now sees a Toohill district that goes back to the Todd Eachus days. The Court sent the Legislators back to the drawing board. Since the line makers are controlled by the GOP it would be in their best interests to get this done quickly. If not, chaos will ensue.
With the faltering of the Mitt Romney campaign, the insurgency of the Gingrich campaign, and the less than passionate embracing of Rick Santorum and Ron Paul as logical standard bearers, there is talk among GOP power forces of a brokered convention. If that appears to be happening, look for certain Republican governors to be approached to run as “Favorite Sons”. The definition of a favorite son is a state delegation sometimes nominates and votes for a candidate from the state, or less often from the state's region, who is not a viable candidate. The technique allows state leaders to negotiate with leading candidates in exchange for the delegation's support. The technique was widely used in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Since nationwide campaigns by candidates and binding primary elections have replaced brokered conventions, the technique has fallen out of use. But consider this, if Romney and Gingrich split the delegates and Santorum has a fair share too, the Convention may not nominate on the first ballot. Large states can take a portion of their uncommitted delegates and run a candidate say in Pennsylvania like Governor Tom Corbett. Corbett’s name is put in nomination on the first ballot. State GOP officials then pledge to vote on the second ballot for a candidate. In the 1960 Democratic Convention, Lyndon Johnson had many pledges of support for the second ballot if John Kennedy did not get the nomination on the first ballot. He did and made the point moot. The last time “favorite sons” came into play was the 1968 Republican Convention. Nixon came to Miami short of 50 votes for nomination. Favorite Sons that year were Senator Hiram Fong of Hawaii, Senator Clifford Case of New Jersey, Governor Raymond Shafer of Pennsylvania (who was a stand in for Nelson Rockefeller and held 22 votes in his name) Winthrop Rockefeller, Governor of Arkansas nominated receiving 18 votes, Louie Nunn Governor of Kentucky , Governor Dan Evans of Washington State and Governor Ronald Reagan of California. The conservatives rallied around Reagan giving him 182 in the final count on the first ballot. If Nixon’s totals began to falter, the role of “The Favorite Sons” listed would be to release their delegates either to the leader, Nixon or the runner up, Nelson Rockefeller. Nixon had the votes because Rocky was trailing him with a total of 250 votes. In the 1976 GOP convention, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford were fighting tooth and nail for delegates. Reagan named his Vice Presidential pick early. It was Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania delegation Chair Drew Lewis (later to become Reagan’s Transportation Secretary) reportedly said he could shake loose 90 delegates from the Pa. delegation by Reagan making the move. Reagan did get some votes from Pennsylvania but not enough to beat Ford. So when you hear the term “Favorite Son” and ‘”brokered convention”, it’s all about delegate numbers and where they can go in a tight residential race for the nomination.
CARTWRIGHT FOR CONGRESS
It’s official, Tim Holden has an opponent for the 117th District. A district that was tailor made for a Democrat like Holden (because the GOP wanted to bolster the districts of Lou Barletta and om Marino) is now going to feature a battle royale between the incumbent Congressman and the Scranton area attorney. Cartwright kicked off his campaign for the new 17th district portraying himself as an advocate of the middle class and working families. Cartwright introduced himself as a Democrat from the Democratic wing of the Democratic party. He said he would act like a real Democrat and invoked the name of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his presentation. Cartwright interestingly enough never mentioned his foe by name. The April Primary is going to be the second straight contested Democratic party primary in Northeastern Pennsylvania,
IN THE LAC: REAPPLY
The Scranton Times reports that more than 50 Lackawanna County employees will have to reapply for their jobs if they want to be part of Democratic Commissioners Jim Wansacz and Corey O'Brien's new administration.
The majority commissioners said Tuesday they have sent or will send letters to all department directors and deputy directors, along with every solicitor, advising them to make an appointment to discuss their position if they wish to be considered for continued service in county government.
The administration will also accept new applications for all of the jobs as Mr. Wansacz and Mr. O'Brien continue what they described as a top-to-bottom review of county operations.
Mr. Wansacz said he and Mr. O'Brien have made it clear since winning the majority in the November election that they planned to evaluate every county employee. Both O’Brien and Wansacz essentially owe the county managers nothing. The practice of hiring on merit came about after the Cordaro/Munchak administration. Both Mike Washo and Corey O’Brien faced with tremendous debt were quick to streamline staff. This on going endeavor is only going to strengthen the perception that the new duo want transparency and merit. Both men were bitter primary rivals in the spring 2011 primary but ran as a team in the General Election. Patrick O’Malley former Democrat turned Republican is the minority Commissioner.
BOB AND A.J. IN COURT
Bob Cordaro and A.J. Munchak might have been home for Christmas but whether they are going to be in town for the Super Bowl is another matter. Both men were in Federeal Court in Wilkes Barre before Judge Richard Caputo arguing for leniency in their sentences. In news interviews, Cordaro looked chastened and sincere. Munchak looked worried but resigned. Both men face sentencing on January 30th in Scranton. It should be noted that the witnesses who said they bribed both Munchak and Cordaro were never brought up on charges themselves.
STATE OF THE UNION
He wants it to the last address of his first term. The GOP wants it to be the last State of the Union address ever. Tuesday night the President was in rare form showing some punch and fire. In his third State of the Union address, Obama issued a populist call for income equality that echoed the Occupy Wall Street movement. He challenged GOP lawmakers to work with him or move aside so he could use the power of the presidency to produce results for an electorate uncertain whether he deserves another term.
Facing a deeply divided Congress, Obama appealed for lawmakers to send him legislation on immigration, clean energy and housing, knowing full well the election-year prospects are bleak but aware that polls show that the independent voters who lifted him to the presidency crave bipartisanship. The reality of all of this is that nothing much of substance is going to get done this year. Obama is in campaign mode and did his post State of the Union address to battleground states. Obama did tout the killing of Bin Laden, the fact that his administration saved GM and that the troops are home from Iraq. Those are huge accomplishments. Those are just a few things the GOP can’t pick at him about. Meanwhile 4 GOP challengers, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul all continue to slog on in hopes of being the candidate in November to take on Obama. One has to wonder why anyone would ever want to do it after seeing the wear and tear on reputations, personal lives and even the aging process.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
DEMOCRAT CHALLENGES TOOHILL
Ransom Young Announces Candidacy for State Representative in 116th District.
Ransom Young announces today that he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for State Representative in the 116th district. Young, 57, a life-long resident of Butler Township with deep roots in Southern Luzerne County, owns and operates the family farm of four generations that has been enrolled under the Luzerne County Agricultural Preservation Program since 2001. He is married to Deborah Jones, formerly of West Hazleton.
Young, no stranger to civic involvement has been a member of Butler Township Board of Supervisors for 28 years and was former chairman. Young has been chairman, vice chairman and is currently treasurer of the Luzerne County Association of Elected Officials. He feels his involvement will benefit both his candidacy and the people o the 116th district. "I'm proud of the fact that Butler Township boasts one of the lowest property taxes in Luzerne County. I've worked hard over the years to make sure we've kept taxes low while still providing the services the citizens of the township deserve. Despite our low taxes we've managed to build and maintain a full time police force, provided recreational facilities and maintained good roads and invested 17.7 million dollars to update our sewage treatment plant." In describing his desire to run, Young states; "This district needs a representative that symbolizes the face of the community, and I am willing to fight for those people. I'm a blue-collar person who will use common sense when facing a problem. I think what is missing in Harrisburg is the common sense approach. As a candidate and State Representative, I promise you, no one will work harder for you than I will. I will surround myself with quality and caring people."
"The Marcellus Shale issue is something that concerns everyone. Once we lose our fresh water source, we lose it forever. We have to make sure that regulations are in place to keep our people and our water safe. We have an amazing opportunity to eliminate our dependency on foreign energy sources, if we manage it correctly. With nearly 8% unemployment in the state we must ensure that the jobs created in the gas industry are for Pennsylvania residents; we have the best skilled and most dedicated workers in America. If the gas industry paid their fair share in a severance tax, the money could go into the general fund so that the gambling revenues would go towards property tax relief as it was originally intended."
"I believe I am the best choice for this office, because I understand the issues and will represent the diverse people of the 116th district, from Huntington Mills to Hazleton. I am a farmer, worked blue-collar jobs and I have balanced budgets in local government. I'm ready to take on this responsibility and I'm asking for your support in April and November.
Ransom Young is running for the Democratic nomination for State Representative in the 116th District. A fourth generation resident of Butler Township, Luzerne County, he currently runs a family farm, and has served on his local Board of Township Commissioners for twenty-eight years, including time as Chairman. The district was comprised of the city of Hazleton; the townships of Black Creek, Butler, Conyngham, Dorrance, Hazle (part), Hollenback, Huntington, Nescopeck, Salem, Sugarloaf, and Union; and the boroughs of Conyngham, Nescopeck, New Columbus, and Shickshinny in Luzerne County.
HARRISBURG ON A DIET?
A bill to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to 153 members, from the current 203 members, heads to the House floor, after the bill passed out of committee. The bill, House Bill 153, authored by Speaker Sam Smith, passed the House State Government Committee by a vote of 18-6.
“There is nothing magical about the number 203, in fact, it came about by accident, yet reports and studies have indicated that groups more than 150 tend to be less efficient,” Smith said. “Reaching a consensus with 203 people on major and controversial issues has proven more difficult in recent times.”
With 203 members, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is the second largest in the country. “In order to right-size Pennsylvania’s government, the Legislature needs to put its own house in order,” Smith said. “Today’s committee vote positions the bill for consideration by the full House in the next several weeks.”
To change the size of the Legislature requires an amendment to the state Constitution, which means the same bill must be debated and passed in two consecutive sessions, and subsequently approved by referendum vote of the people of Pennsylvania.
MURPHY TO KEYNOTE
NARAL Pro-Choice America will mark the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Roe v. Wade with an annual dinner on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at the Hilton Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C. The program will include remarks from NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan and a keynote address from The Honorable Patrick Murphy. In addition to the speeches and award presentation, Susie Essman, comedienne starring in the critically-acclaimed HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm, will serve as the event’s mistress of ceremonies. She has also appeared in her own half-hour HBO comedy special, made numerous appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The View, and Crank Yankers, to name just a few of her many television credits.
PCN AND PATERNO
The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) will air LIVE coverage of the public memorial service for former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno. Coverage is courtesy of WPSU-TV. The service, which will be held at the Bryce Jordan Center, is scheduled to air statewide on PCN beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 26. The coverage will also be streamed LIVE at www.pcntv.com by clicking on the “watch now” streaming option located on the website’s homepage.
Following the coverage of the memorial service, PCN will open up the phone lines to allow viewers to share their comments about Joe Paterno with a statewide audience. Viewers are asked to dial toll-free at 1-877-PA6-5001 to participate.
Joe Paterno coached the Penn State football team from 1966 until his firing in November of last year in the aftermath of the child sex abuse charges against former Penn State football defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. The 85-year-old former coach passed away on Sunday just months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
PCN is a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization created and supported by cable television companies. PCN receives no state or federal funding. Network programming is distributed on more than 150 cable systems in Pennsylvania serving more than 10 million Pennsylvanians in 3.3 million homes. A complete listing of PCN affiliates and network channel designations is available by visiting PCN's website at www.pcntv.com.
ECTV Live will welcome Sarah Keating, Vice President for Enrollment at Keystone College for it's weekly schedule of programs beginning on January 30th. The school will be offering some special activities to mark Black History month in February. Those, and many other free events open to the general public will be the topics of discussion for the show which, as hosted by Judge Tom Munley, was created by co-host David DeCosmo to highlight events and organizations improving the quality of life in the area. ECTV Live is available to Comcast Cable viewers on Ch19 and is presented each day at Noon and Midnight with additional 6pm showings several days during the week. You can check the complete ECTV daily schedule at http://sites. Goggle.com/site/ectvschedule/home.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
This week Shadoe Steele presents Saturday Night Live at the Oldies on WILK AM and FM. The show starts at 7pm and is on until midnight with ABC News on the top of the hour. Shadoe’s guest this week is Brett Michaels, of the Celebrity Apprentice.
What it's like to run for office for the 1st time as a political novice--the good, bad and ugly. Guest: Former Hazleton Mayoral Candidate, Jeff Cusat. And at the end of this show, a discussion of Hazleton issues and Tiffany’s "polite" request of Hazleton officials...this week on WYLN TV on Th 930p, Sat 5p, Sun 11a, Mon 830p, T 930p.
This Weekend On Sunday Magazine...Brian Hughes speaks with political activist & State Representative candidate Kevin Haggerty about the school voucher bill in Pennsylvania, and issues in the 112th Legislative District. Brian speaks with Karin Volo, the founder of the website bringingjoytotheworld.com, who discusses the 4 years she spend in prison for a crime she did not commit, and how she’s dedicated to bringing joy, and helping others facing difficult situations in life. And Magic 93’s Frankie in the Morning speaks with Scott Hall & Nick Walet from the Graham Academy about their free baseball clinic for youngsters with autism and special needs. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7 & 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.
U.S. astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward Higgins White, and Roger Chaffee are killed when fire breaks out in their Apollo spacecraft during a launch pad test.
In Pennsylvania as Governor Ray Shafer’s term begins, a constitutional convention was meeting to overhaul state government. Shafer had made this the very foundation of his term as Lt. Governor…..in Scranton City Councilman James Doherty criticizes the Walsh administration’s meetings with the Scranton Redevelopment Authority. Doherty says that Council members were not duly informed of the times. A meeting was held to resolve this issue and 45 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Kind of A Drag” by the Buckinghams.